Social Dynamics

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A Proposal for a new type of media source: "True News"

capitalism general lessons learned social dynamics

The November 2016 election has made me think about democracy, government, and our society in new ways for the first time in my life. One topic that seems to keep coming up is this idea of truth in the media.

I think most people would say they’d rather read news they know to be true than live in a fantasy world where they read news they like but which they know to be false. It’s basically an alternate take on the famous thought experiment, the Experience Machine, and comes to the same conclusion: truth matters.

In fact, truth may be the single-most important attribute of the news we read. And if you really start to think about it, truth becomes a really slippery concept.

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Living on $1 Day

social dynamics zen general

This past weekend, I volunteered at a clinic in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (better known to Americans as “Rocky Point”). The clinic was makeshift, conducted in a church in a local neighborhood. It was completely free to the residents and funded with donations.

The surrounding residents would be considered low income by American standards, but I sat on many pre-visit interviews with them and most of them don’t think of themselves as struggling. They’re really just living their lives.

The locals have differences in their lives that I simply haven’t experienced. In my makeshift Spanish, I learned that one woman, Guadalupe, had been waiting at the free clinic for about 8 hours, not knowing when she would be seen.

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The Power of Frames

social dynamics entrepreneurship

I recently read Pitch Anything by Mr. Oren Klaff and one of the coolest concepts in the book was the idea of “frames.”

A frame is basically the set of beliefs, contexts, and assumptions that implicitly sit behind everything you communicate. The author argues that when two people meet, their frames eventually “clash” and that only one frame can win out. This concept was also discussed in The Game by Neil Strauss, but it was presented there in the context of attracting girls, not clients.

Anyway, after I finished reading Pitch Anything, I have been blessed with a special insight into how I and others think, and to the social dynamics underlying most business transactions.

Take sales, for example. When I first started out doing sales, my mentality was always about understanding what the client was saying as precisely as possible and, to the greatest extent possible, providing him with exactly what he requested. But it turns out that’s not the best way to do business. Often times, I’ve found, people respect when you challenge them because they see it as an opportunity for growth. I realized one day that with myself, when someone challenges me head-on, I find them really interesting and then start engaging about why they disagree.

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